Thursday, July 28, 2011

Is Visiting Your Family Taxing?

Today I was going to post about my fiancé again.  He’s been such a rock for me these past three plus months, even more than usual, so I wanted to go on at great length how amazing he is.  I’ve been inspired to write about something else, so you’re just going to have to take my word for it, or read the last post I wrote about him instead.

A friend has a father that’s currently in the hospital.  Naturally, she wants to spend as much time as she can with her father while he’s there.  The problem is, whenever she does, she has to pay out the nose for parking.  I just looked it up.  For her city’s major hospital, which is where he’s staying, she has to pay $15 for parking because she has the nerve, the unmitigated gall to go see her father while he’s in the hospital.  Who the hell does she think she is?  Yeah, she can get it validated (the website says that that’s only for patients of visitors.  Umm.. . aside from hospital staff who probably have staff parking, who else is going to the hospital??  A door-to-door salesperson? Jehovah’s Witnesses?) , but she’s still paying a minimum of $6 to visit her childrens’ papou.

The thing is, it’s not exactly like this is an uncommon occurrence.  When I had to go get some paperwork straightened up when I first went on disability assistance last year, I had to pay $3 for less than 15 minutes worth of parking, because the government facility that I had to go to had pay parking, and because you couldn’t pay for a portion of the hour.  I was applying for financial aid and I had, essentially, had to pay to do so.  When I had my son, and we were discharged, we had to pay to leave the hospital because my mother dared to pick me up in her car (nevermind the fact that they will not allow you to leave the hospital in anything other than a car or ambulance) and there again was pay parking.

Does anyone else find it absolutely abhorrent that many hospitals and government facilities have pay parking?  These are essential service buildings, and all the taxes we pay throughout the year aren’t enough for these facilities aren’t enough.  No.  They need to add yet another tax for the luxury of going to these buildings.

One could argue that you don’t need to drive to these facilities.  You could take the bus (bus fares), the taxi (taxi rates) or an ambulance (in BC, we have to pay for an ambulance ride.  Tommy Douglas is probably rolling in his grave) instead; but unless you’re within walking distance of these facilities, and you are capable to walking there on your own two feet, or have someone who can push/carry/drag you all the way there, you’re somehow paying for it. 

I don’t what can/should be done about this, but it definitely makes me want to watch Sicko again. 


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